In support of World Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Al Wakra Hospital (AWH) last week held a number of events to raise awareness of the importance of the early detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of breast cancer.
The activities were held from 2 to 6 October 2016 and were aimed to reach as wide an audience as possible. They included a range of indoor and outdoor activities including lectures, workshops and interactive sessions designed for both the public and staff. The activities aimed to provide people with the knowledge and tools needed for them to take charge of their health and to also increase awareness of the importance of early detection in saving lives.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in Qatar. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every 19 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Dr. Mohamed Alloub, Senior Consultant at Al Wakra Hospital’s Obs and Gyn division said: “Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of the most important events in our Hamad Medical Corporation calendar. The theme this year is ‘Early Detection Saves Lives’ as it is scientifically proven that early detection leads to greatly improved patient outcomes. As such, we encourage women to be breast aware and to bring any changes in their breasts to the attention of their doctor as soon as they occur”.
The activities organized for the event included educational stands at the main entrance of the hospital, providing patients and their families with an opportunity to network with staff and find out about the work of the breast cancer team. Attendees also had the chance to speak to health leaders, doctors, and nurses to get their advice on the importance of early detection and get information about different topics related to breast cancer. Educational material including leaflets and brochures was also available for the public with more information about cancer care and breast cancer-related issues.
Clinicians, surgeons, advanced clinical nurses and healthcare professionals from AWH also delivered health education lectures to teach the general public and AWH visitors about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, improve their knowledge of the disease and broaden their understanding of the critical role of early detection in reducing risk factors and improving a woman’s chance of survival. Dr. Alloub said: “It’s important that we take advantage of the opportunity to hold such interactive meetings with our patients; our mission is to empower women by providing help and inspiring hope in those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.”
He continued: “Experts and healthcare professionals around the globe agree that when it comes to breast cancer survival rates, early detection is critical. We advise women of any age to adopt preventative health strategies such as following a healthy diet, getting regular check-ups and having yearly mammograms. These easy-to-follow steps can spot early symptoms and save lives.”
Acting Public Relations Manager at AWH, Mohamed Al Dosari, said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to organize these breast cancer awareness activities at AWH to educate our patients and visitors about how they can join the fight against breast cancer. This initiative is just one of the health awareness campaigns that HMC has initiated to cope with the rapid increase in the incidence of breast cancer in Qatar.” Mr. Al Dosari added: “It is important to understand that breast cancer is very treatable if discovered early and finding cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body provides the greatest chance of it being successfully treated.’’
Similar activities are planned across other HMC's hospitals throughout World Breast Cancer Awareness Month and will involve interactions and comprehensive discussions with various audiences.
For more information about the ‘Early Detection Saves Lives‘ campaign and to find out more about AWH activities, please follow HMC on Twitter: @HMC_Qatar - hashtag #BCAhamad, and Instagram @HMC_Qatar. You can also visit HMC’s Facebook page at: www.hamad/facebook.com